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UK OKs Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, as Duterte signs order for vaccine authorization

By PhilSTAR L!fe Published Dec 02, 2020 4:04 am Updated Dec 02, 2020 4:08 am

In a historic first, the United Kingdom has become the first country to license a COVID-19 vaccine after it gave the green light to Pfizer while President Rodrigo Duterte, on the other hand, signed an order authorizing the emergency use of COVID-19 drugs.

“The Government has today accepted the recommendation from the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to approve Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for use,” according to a UK government spokesperson.

“This follows months of rigorous clinical trials and a thorough analysis of the data by experts at the MHRA who have concluded that the vaccine has met its strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness.”

Following the order, the vaccine is expected to be made available across the UK by next week.

Duterte, meanwhile, has also signed Executive Order 121 giving authority to the Food and Drug Authority to issue emergency use authorization for COVID-19 drugs and vaccines. This effectively shortens the time for a vaccine to be approved from six months to just one month before it can be distributed locally.

The US multinational drug manufacturer Pfizer is one of the companies that the Philippine government is talking to for procurement of vaccines.